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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I’m thinking of buying a used, automatic diesel 2003 Sorento ES. I have seen one I like but being new to Sorento’s I would appreciate any advice/comments

The car I have seen has 92k on the clock, seems to be in very good condition on initial visual inspection and seems to drive ok. However, it has hardly any service history (just a few invoices that outline some routine servicing for the last couple of years) and I am naturally wary of this service black hole.

The Kia dealership has offered one year’s warranty and a service in the asking price (currently at £5k and haggling!)

My questions are
1) What would a good service history look like and when should services have taken place?
2) What should have been done in these services?
3) Is there any common problems with cars of this age?
4) If I do go ahead and purchase it what should I ask the dealership to check as part of its handover service?
5) Erm…and the biggy – would you buy? Or walk away?

Many thanks

Paul
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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267 Posts
No service history wouldn't phase me too much after a couple simple checks.
Open the oil filler cap and check for sludge build up under the cap and inside the engine with a little torch. Sludge means oil has not been changed regularly. Had a car with sludge (one of my first) and no problems with 220000 km on it. My current one has no sldge, just a goldish coating as the oil dries up on the cap.
That is a decent indication of service history.

Look under the car for a harsh off road life. (i assume its a 4wd model) No harsh off road life i would seriously consider if its at or below market value. I assume it has the 4 speed auto. Personally (depending on the price difference) i would look for the newer (came out in late 2004) 5 speed auto.

I believe the diff oil, transfer case oil, and gearbox oils should be done at the 90 000km service. The diesel has a chain, so no need to worry there. So i guess make sure the dealer replaces all of them. I would ask for power steering too. And with the rear diff make sure he knows to lift the back end up when he refills it or there is not enough oil in the rear diff, and this could cause issues. (i would re do after the dealer does it personally for peace of mind)

If you plan on going off read you will need a suspension lift. Even around town the standard suspension was pretty sloppy so i would replace springs and shocks. Wont be expensive if you dont lift it.

MAKE SURE YOU TEST 4WD if its a 4wd model. Take it on sand. if 4wd doesnt work, walk away.

Here is Australia, with the second hand car 1 year warranty they only really cover parts that have oil reservoir (engine, gearbox, diff). wich if its ok at the time of purchase, and going strong, very little chance in it packing up. Its all the electrics and other parts that will break that are not covered by warranty. And if a part that works in oil does pack it up, the warranty only gives you like $1k towards the price of fixing it, which usually wont fix it.
So think about asking for a discount with no warranty if the warranty is similar.

I would consider buying if i was in the market if all things i mentioned came back clear...
and it was at market price or below.
 

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08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
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Apologises. It's an XS
OK. So we have a UK spec 2003 diesel with Torque on Demand (TOD) transfer case and rear self levelling suspension.

Both TOD and rear suspension (self levelling is built into dampers) can be pricey if there is anything amiss.

Servicing should be: (roughly)
Minor service every 10k miles/1 year. (engine oil, etc)
Major service every 20k miles/2 years (includes 10k, plus TOD oil change, front and rear diffs oil change.) Kia UK changed service intervals from what you may find in owners handbook.
Every 30k miles air filter replace. (Change from handbook)
Every 60k miles Auto box oil change (if fitted)

2003 problems. Some reports of corrosion problems on early models. Brake lines and rear suspension particularly. Also with TOD, seen a couple recently post sale find TCCS fuse (#13 in drivers footwell) and/or front proshaft removed to disguise problems. Lack of maint/corrosion in UJ/CV joint are potential problems as is failure of TOD clutch pack. (Tyre wear should be even all round. Failure to follow guidelines re tyre rotation and replacement can cause problems with TOD.)

I would not rely on dealer to tell you what IS wrong. Independant inspection (AA etc) can be a reasonable investment.

5k is probably top dealer price with a good warranty, but follow link in my sig and have a look at 'For Sale' section :) (55 plate, auto, 75k @ £5300)
 

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08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
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The diesel has a chain, so no need to worry there.
My top chain has just been replaced at 88k miles under (extended) warranty.
But my dealer friend says this is abnormal.

And with the rear diff make sure he knows to lift the back end up when he refills it or there is not enough oil in the rear diff, and this could cause issues.
UK dealer will look bemused at that! It was never mandated in UK and has never been an issue.
 
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